Mapping ideas

Domain 5: Training delivery

Difficulty level

2 sessions of ±1:30H



Computer or mobile device
Internet connection

Brief description

This activity involves the opportunity of adult learners to reflect upon what they are learning, in a structured way, by the use of an application for the making of mind maps. The tool used allows adult learners to create and organize relations among concepts, structure and plan a text or a project. The mind maps might be the result of collaborative work as they can be achieved by more than one user at time. The mind maps may be illustrated with images and can establish links with other content such as web pages.


This activity aims at allowing adult learners to use a tool that help them to reflect and organize ideas, to be aware of what they understood and to establish links among concepts. It can also aim at systematising and reflect upon a text, a subject, but also to distinguish among perspectives, concepts and links among these.

Learning WHAT

–        To organize ideas and concepts

–        To establish links among concepts and ideas

–        To represent visually ideas through the creation of mind maps

–        To develop critical thinking and sense towards a specific subject

–        To reflect on a subject or matter and create new ideas

Notes and links to the tool is an online tool of free use that allows creating a mind map and visually represent the link among concepts. It includes a wide set of functionalities, allowing the decision concerning the size of cells, their position, the link among cells and text adding. This tool allows the sharing, printing and download maps in JPG, PNG or PDF formats.

Detailed description of the learning activity

After working on a specific issue or text, or if you are willing to plan an activity or a project, start by creating with adult learners a mind map in a white board, asking for the help or everybody.

Afterwards, show how ideas can be organized visually and in a digital format, by presenting (or a different application of creating concept maps suggested) by the use of a general explanation how it works.

Please give some time for adult learners to feel acquainted with the tool and explore with them resources and functionalities you might believe are important for the development of such activity. It is important to explain what nodes are, the central spots of the network and of the map built, the sub-nodes and the links among them that might be different (of dependency, correlation, …).

Afterward, ask the adult learners to create their own map (work can also be achieved in pairs, by two adult learners), giving them time to reflect upon the organization and visual representation of their ideas. Adult learners may add images or other multimedia elements to their maps.

Later on, or in next session, each adult learner can present the map built or maps might be shared online in a collaborative space (example: in a social network group or community, in a folder to be shared including files or other folders, through a blog or a group site, …). Ideas can be shared among adult learners, systemizing and in-depth knowledge developed.

In a further session, adult learners might work together and share created maps by each of them in order to create a map that might include the contribution of all of them, discussion and reflection on the subjects based on several maps.

  1. to create a map of ideas based on collective debate on a board
  2. to explore (or another application that might allow building mental maps)
  3. to create a mental map (according to specific objectives) establishing node and a network of nodes
  4. to illustrate a map with images or hyperlinks with other web pages
  5. to share maps in an online platform
  6. to identify difference and similarities among maps created
Tips & tricks

Before starting the activity, please make sure that adult learners have an email so that they can register in

Use to store research on a specific subject. You may choose the making of a concept map to map historical global events, discuss ideas for projects, presentations, reports, etc.

Similar tools might be used, such as SimpleMind ( – a download to the computer can be made; the MindMup ( is an option also with online use without the need to register; Canva ( online requires registration; GoConqr ( online requires registration but of simple use.

Security & digital identity

As an adult educator it is important to access data referring to data collection on users in tools used and irrespective privacy options. A careful reading of Terms of Use and Privacy Policy of is required.

In the menu Security we may have access to more information on risks and precautions when using online technologies. When using online available images, please make sure that copyright is followed.